We’ve all been there, putting off work or school related tasks to the last minute and rushing to get things done. As a matter of fact it is being implemented and exemplified in this very blog post. Over the last few hours I have been trying to decide upon what the topic of my post should be, all the while trying to fill in that time doing other things in an attempt to “help me think.” Then it kind of came to me, I should write about procrastination and it’s relation to cognitive processes and attention and stuff, so here it goes.

In an article written by Joseph R. Ferrari, he says that procrastination may be related to the inability to stay focused on a task and a need for frequent sensory stimulation. In his article he also talks about the different procrastination tendencies: avoidance, arousal, and decisional; and he talks about their associations and relationships with attention deficits, boredom proneness, intelligence, and self-esteem as well.

Thinking about it logically, the aspect of selective attention can play a large role in procrastination. Selective attention is self-explanatory from the perspective that you are focusing your attention on stimuli other than what you should be focusing on. Then it can be broken down further into the argument of whether the early-selection hypothesis is being utilized, where the unattended input (your “should do” that’s been put on the back burner for other things) receives little to no analysis; or the late-selection hypothesis, where all input receives analysis but only the attended input (that which you chose over the “should do”) reaches consciousness or holds your attention’s priority.

While looking for articles to base my post on I came across others that listed other reasons for procrastination like the underestimation of the amount of time it would take to complete the task, the overestimation of the desire to complete the task come crunch time, and various other reasons of the sort. Those articles also commented on how procrastination can lead to negative effects in the individual, and in other articles there where some recommended solutions on how to treat the behavior. I guess I should probably look into those and take advantage of them… but I’ll put it off ’til later because I don’t really have the time right now.

2 thoughts on “Procrastination

  1. cheyc

    Procrastination is something that really interests me from a cognitive perspective. Why do smart people, including myself, who know they need to get something done put it off often until the very last second? Is this an evolutionary trait based on saving as much energy as possible for when we really need it, or is it something we’ve adapted more recently as an attempt to deal with the stress of doing work?

  2. mgehlsen

    Currently procrastinating even though Dr. Rettinger told me I needed to space out my comments throughout the month. Something about just not doing work seems so tempting and in the end we all succumb to its sweet, sweet embrace. Sometimes I contemplate whether or not I actually have an attentional disorder, then other times I realize that I’m actually just a college student and this is the normal route for us every single day.

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